October 2004 Archives
October 29, 2004
Alsop Architects, one of Britain's most colourful and internationally renowned practices, has been forced into receivership by a financial crisis. Directors of the practice headed by the outspoken architect and artist Will Alsop have sold 40% of the business to R Capital, a London-based firm of venture capitalists, as part of a rescue plan after a string of dramatic and costly projects worldwide came to nothing, according to a report in today's Building Design magazine.
Designing large boiled sweets clearly isn't as profitable as it once was.
Found on my travels - CamberwellOnline Blog:
I noticed while I was walking today that the old Mary Datchelor School (which then became the Save The Children head office) and the Butterfly tennis courts between Grove Lane and Camberwell Grove have both been acquired by St George PLC. Looks like there’s going to be a big new development there, and judging by their website they deal in pretty high-end housing. Is Camberwell about to become super-chic?
If St George are involved, almost certainly. They don't deal in low and stuff and they tend to pick up-and-coming new markets with some accuracy.
October 28, 2004
A quick glance below or to the right will show you that I've started pulling together a FAQ for this site. If you have an suggestions of other questions I should answer on there, please let me know.
October 27, 2004
President Bush's re-election website is blocking all non-US traffic, as reported by the BBC.
This is dumb.
Why? Well, leaving aside the fact that whatever goes on in America has a significant impact on the rest of the world, many American are overseas, too. I know American working in Paris for a few months. One Woman is, in fact, an American citizen, casting an absentee ballot.
Clearly Georgie doesn't care much about people overseas. That should, and hopefully will, cost him votes.
Ever get bored with the same round of blogs you read? I was feeling that way this lunchtime, so I decided to blog surf to seven blogs, starting with one on my list of links on the right (which I must get around to expanding and updating). The only rule was that the link to the next blog must be found somewhere on the first, and only the first was allowed to be a regular visit blog.
OK, I started with February 30th, the first link on my links list, who is quiet for personal reasons. That lead me to The Inside Of My Head, which has a nice piece about the protester that's lived outside the House of Commons for the past three years. Blunkett wants to get rid of him with legislation.
The article was cross-posted to perfect.co.uk. That's an interesting political site that I'd not come across before, so I added it to Bloglines. Sadly, it also seemed a dead end in terms of blog links, until it noticed the various authors are all linked to their own sites. Onwards!
One of the authors was Richard Hodkinson, who has a blog at hurtling.com. I have an aversion to sites which literally give you the bird on the front page, so I didn't linger. I resorted to comments on one entry for a link and found mamamusings, the blog of Elizabeth Lane Lawley. I spent a good while reading her blog, and found the pictures of the memorial to soldiers killed in Iraq on Long Beach quite moving. Into her public Bloglines subscriptions for my next link.
My discovery? Girlwonder, who posts about the issue of mobile technology and the suburbs. Given my professional interest in the link between technology and the built environment (ie, I write about it) this caught my eye. I'll be wandering back to this site again.
Here ends my first Seven Degrees of Lunch.
On Friday night, One Woman and I headed over to visit friends in St Reatham. On the way, near New Cross, we passed a huge number of coppers. Now I know why:
More than 400 officers were involved in raids on three businesses in Lewisham on Friday night - the culmination of a huge offensive against gun and drug crime in the borough, with police making 80 arrests. Police used the Millennium Dome as a base to prepare for the raids, rolling out at 10.30pm in two buses and 20 police vans to storm a barber's, a pub and a takeaway restaurant in Lewisham Way. Officers used a special, airport-style scanning machine to search suspects detained in the raids for firearms and drugs.
Read more here.
October 26, 2004
Late nights with obscure music and early mornings with home truths will never be the same. Two generations have grown up listening to his voice. No longer.
October 21, 2004
October 20, 2004
October 19, 2004
October 18, 2004
The Guardian came up with an interesting, if rather doomed idea. It sent readers the addresses of residents of Clark County, a part of the US that many feel will be critical in the upcoming election, and encouraged them to write and say how much everyone (well, every Grauniad reader) hates Bush..
Mmm. Encouraging residents of one country to interfere in the elections of another, one that threw us out with pointy sticks and bang guns some centuries back. Anyone see why this might have been an unwise idea?
A few locals have made their feelings known, and The Guardian has taking the admirable steps of posting a good cross-section to its website:
A quick read through the comments suggests that many Democrats feel vindicated, many Republicans have been driven into a frothing rage, and that more than a few Americans have been amused enough to write some rather pithy satire. It's enjoyable to anyone except those who really thought this idea would work.
Some good arguments here as to why the range of alternative forms of expression is slowly eroding the novel's place as social commentary, but I think the headline, like my own here, is rather over the top.
October 14, 2004
October 13, 2004
Interesting article from a photographer giving and and admitting that he's gone digital:
I find myself in a similar position. I've used my film SLR during a holiday in Devon back at Easter, and not since. Maybe I should be honest with myself….
[via Digital Photography Blog]
October 12, 2004
Would Star Wars have been as popular without the music?
I made a mistake this afternoon. I had an intimidating pile of page proofs to get through and, in an attempt to get them done in a timely manner, I popped on my iPod to block out the distracting office noise. I chose one of the Star Wars prequel soundtracks by the talented Mr John Williams, and 10 minutes later I found myself listening to the music and not reading a single word on those darned proofs. I was completely lost in the music, following the different threads as they rose to, and fell from, prominence. (There's probably a good post to be written about film soundtracks as a gateway drug for classical music, but I'll save that for another time.)
It's tricky to separate the emotional memory of watching a movie (and I saw this one slightly drunk, at 11pm at night, surrounded by a huge number of similarly insensate people) from the emotion evoked by the music itself. But still, I couldn't help but be struck by both the emotion within the music itself, and the storytelling that goes with it. It would be a fascinating exercise to play one of Williams' soundtracks to some kids who had never seen the movie in question and ask them to write stories based on it. How much of the emotion that a generation felt about the original trilogy was evoked by Williams' score, and how much by Lucas's film making? Lucas himself acknowledges on the recent DVDs of that trilogy that the music was the one element of the 1977 original film that exceeded his expectation.
I've no idea what the answer to this question is, and there's probably no easy way of finding out. But I do suspect that Williams can take the credit for a significant amount of the Star Wars phenomenon.
October 11, 2004
It looks like Flickr is down for the time being, which means that several of the pics that should be below this post won't be showing up right now. Sorry about that, folks. That'll teach me to host pictures on an external site, won't it?
While I'm in the mood for explaining, I ought to let you know where there's been so little text on here of late. The reason for the picture bias has been an absolutely hectic few weeks at work. Things should start slowing down by the end of the week, and I have plenty in mind to write.
UPDATE: Looks like all is well again, and the site is returned to its pictorial glory.
October 10, 2004
The Mercator Estate, very near One Flat, my humble abode, has recently developed a striking new look. How could I resist popping out to take a quick photo of it? A fine example of the penal school of architecture, the new fence has given the recently-refurbished estate that much sought-after "concentration camp" aesthetic that's so popular in urban design circles these days.
Snarking aside, I do realise that there are some serious crime issues around the estate (and in the near vicinity, I might add), but was this really the best way to deal with them? It's ugly, it's brutal and, frankly, I'm less than convinced that it'd actually keep the determined little brats that make up much of the crime problem around here out.
Time will, as always, tell, but I'm not holding our much hope.
October 8, 2004
October 7, 2004
The Environment Agency now allows you to find out the flood risk of your home via a postcode search on it's website. I've known about the technology and research that underlies this sit for a while, but its good to see it live and available to the general public: